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25 November 2020

Southampton to open fifth cruise terminal next year

 

Southampton will open a fifth cruise terminal for the 2021 season, built in partnership with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to strengthen its position as the leading departure port in the UK.

The £55 million terminal has roof-mounted solar power and shore power connectivity installed, allowing ships with the right onboard technology to 'plug in' while they are docked.

Southampton said the new terminal will support a developing industry and welcome the next generation of ships in terms of size, capacity and technology.

NCL said its partnership with the port 'demonstrates its commitment to the region' while MSC Cruises said it was evidence that it believed in the long-term future of the UK cruise market.


The project has received support from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Government's Getting Building Fund with an £8 million grant.

Alastair Welch, Director of Associated British Ports Southampton, said: "We're very pleased to announce this major advance in our cruise infrastructure at the port, delivering further access to Southampton for the industry, whilst supporting our commitment to accelerate improvements in local air quality.

"This investment is a huge vote of confidence in the future of cruise in Southampton and we're excited to be at the forefront of a growing industry."

Councillor Christopher Hammond, Solent LEP Director and Leader of Southampton City Council said: "Not only will this cement our status as the home of the cruise industry, but respects our maritime heritage and underlines our commitment to a sustainable future.

Robert Courts MP, Minister for Maritime, Department for Transport, said: "As we continue to support the cruise sector in its restart and recovery, it's great to see government funding being used to help deliver better services for passengers. This next-generation facility also showcases to ports around the world how we're pioneering the use of green technology right here in the UK."

 

What the cruise lines say

Steve Moeller, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, said: "This agreement marks the continuation of the strong partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Southampton and demonstrates our commitment to the region.


"Consistent with our commitment to driving a positive impact on society and the environment, we are pleased to further promote environmental conservancy by partnering with Associated British Ports for the new terminal that will feature Shore Power and Roof-Mounted Solar Power."

Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises' CEO said: "At MSC Cruises we really believe in the potential of the UK cruise market and making this long-term commitment is evidence of that.

"Over the last five years MSC Cruises has increased our presence in the UK & Irish markets and following a positive response from travel agents and our guests we feel now is the right time to make a more substantial commitment.

"We are in a unique position that not only will we be committing to having an MSC Cruises' ship home port from Southampton every year, but several of our ships will be visiting Southampton as a destination as part of our wider cruise programme."


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  • What about Liverpool's New Cruise Terminal

    Liverpool's new cruise terminal is set to be delayed by yet another year amid Brexit legislation and red tape planning in Parliament which is contributing to the delay and increased costs. The terminal has already been delayed due the Harbour Revision Order from the International Marine Organisation. Now there is renewed pressure from the Green Party to cancel the project in the wake of the pandemic. They argue it clashes with the city's climate goals and is a risky investment given the suppressed demand in the travel industry. So why has Southampton not been lobbied by them, why do they pick on Liverpool. The new terminal has long been viewed as a key project for the City of Liverpool, hoping it will help cement the city's growing reputation as a tourist destination. The number of passengers entering through the current terminal has been rising year on year and it was hoped the new terminal would aid that expansion further. Liverpool offers exciting opportunities for cruising passengers north of the Watford Gap not to have to travel all the way down to Southampton. So come on Whitehall and Boris, what happened to these "Shovel Ready" projects. Another case of favoring the South over the North?

    By Nigel jacobson, Thursday, November 26, 2020

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